Seeing you here means two things; either you are planning on moving to a tiny house, or you just want to know more about it. Well, irrespective of the reason, a solution is all you are going to get here.
Home construction is perhaps the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life and considering American housing; it won’t come cheap. Now that you have so much at stake, you definitely want the best in the business by your side. When it comes to creating a compact living space, the only ones you can trust are tiny house builders.
Whether you believe it or not, the whole idea of a tiny house got a major boost after the Tiny House Movement, which took American soil by surprise. You’d be surprised to know that there are more than 10,000 tiny homes in the USA, and that number is only expected to grow and that too at a rapid rate. For decades, American thinking has all been about “the bigger, the better,” but this movement has changed it for good. It’s all fun and games until you realize that it takes a lot to build a tiny house; after all, it’s a house. The only difference is that it is small.
Following are some tried and tested tips to hire the perfect house builder who’ll make your needs fit into a small yet livable place:
1. Put Together a List
To get things started, all you have to do is use the internet to the best of its abilities. You may not realize it now, but you are most likely to find a variety of builders who specialize in designing and consulting. But that’s not where it ends; it is recommended that you do some homework to determine which one suits better for your situation.
2. Interview Potential Candidates
Once you have made up your list, it’s time to get in touch with them and ask a few questions. Ask them how many projects they’ll be handling simultaneously if they end up taking up your project. If they have other projects lined up, you can expect them to be professionals with a smooth operating business plan. Other than that, just try to avoid hiring a newbie for the job since it’s the house we are talking about.
3. Make Sure To Run Some Background Checks
Before you hire anyone, we recommend you look up your prospective builders via the local Consumer Protection Agency and your local Better Business Bureau. Ask them about their litigation history, and make notes of complaints if there are any. If you find out that the contractor isn’t even registered, you can go ahead and cross them off the list.
4. Collect Estimates
By this point, you should have a handful of contractors on your radar, but to be more certain, you want at least three by your side. Schedule a face-to-face meeting with them, preferably at the construction site, so that you can assess their work style, their level of professionalism, and how they interact with employees and customers. Remember, the motive behind that is to get estimates for the project. Make sure that cost ranges and allowances are realistic.
5. Compare Bids
Now that you have estimates and reviews lying around, it’s time to cut down the list to one. In order to choose one, request formal bids that include a detailed price list for labor and materials. If you notice the contractor is using confusing terms, or it seems like line items have been included that shouldn’t be there, they could be planning to pull a sneaky on you.
Reasons Why You Should Hire A Certified Tiny House Builder
Maybe you think you can do it all by yourself, or maybe you are an engineer or an architect and perhaps you have a legit plan. Regardless of what’s going on in your head, you must come to the terms that this is not some kind of DIY, and you need professionals by your side. Here are some reasons why you need to hire a tiny house construction company.
Now that you know all about tiny house builders and how to hire them, it’s time to get on with your research and land the best contractor for your dream house.
While it is often believed that Americans are supposed to seek out material success and luxury homes, people have fallen for tiny houses in the past few years and eschewing that notion and turning towards a life of minimalism. With the cost of housing rising, moving into a tiny home can distinguish between living luxuriously and living paycheck-to-paycheck. But residing in a tiny house doesn't suggest you need to give up on transcendent interior designs and comfy furniture that add grace to your home's beauty while implementing your tiny home plans.
In reality, you have the option to modify your tiny house to be as cozy and stylish as a normal-sized house. You have to get creative or engage yourself in finding the best tiny home designs for a few days. Read on to learn and grab some great tiny house interior design ideas!
Consider an Accent Wall
At the center of homes with exemplary interior design is an anchor. Anchors can be anything, be it statement furniture or an accent. You must be pondering, tiny houses are a new concept, and they don't hold interior brick walls. As it spins out, you can simply fake opened brick walls. One means through which you can anchor your tiny home's design is with an unsealed brick wall.
Applying some thin brick tiles along with some grout, you can give your tiny house a facelift. Most importantly, for this purpose, you don't have to hire expensive contractors, either. Frankly speaking, it is super simple to learn the DIY method of installing brick tiles and attaching them to your tiny home's wall.
Shorten Your Furniture
This doesn't mean anyway that you must give your furniture the Alice in Wonderland treatment. You should ensure that you only place furniture pieces that you need in your home. So rather than opting for a full-size dining set, it would be ideal for you to opt for a compact and transforming table or a folding version.
If your home's dimensions are minimal, a custom built-in could be your best bet. Ignore the adage that says your dining set must match the home's decor or tiny home plans. Mix and match several pieces to give your home an eclectic touch and to keep more space. Keep in mind, when it comes to space, the more you save in one area, the more vacancy you'll have to indulge in expensive and comfy items.
Go Light and Bright
It may seem tempting to decorate your home in bright, vibrant colors, but excessive dark colors can make a space appear smaller. This doesn't signify that you have to sacrifice your desired color scheme while designing your tiny home. Moreover, don't disregard that a well-placed mirror makes a space look significantly more extensive.
Always Reminisce Regarding Storage
Irrespective of the fact of how minimal a lifestyle you live, you'll always need storage space so, when selecting or building furniture for your tiny home, keep this in consideration. So what are a few creative ideas for storage in a tiny home? The very first thing you can opt for is foldable dining tables, chairs to keep the space free. With mounting TVs on the walls, you can free up the area of your TV tabletop that you would either use to organize magazines or your children's books.
Moreover, when it comes to bed frames, raise them high enough to store a few plastic tubs, out-of-season clothes, or even holiday decorations. As a tiny homeowner, you must be creative! There's always room for more storage if you correctly ascertain and implement the best tiny home designs.
Make the Use of Most of the Vertical Space of Your Tiny Home
Do you know you can even have a home library in your tiny home when you opt for the tiny home interior design ideas? You can have a chic tiny house with a library in it, too. When you have a concise space that you can make use of, you must make the most of all the vacant space without congesting the setting.
This implies you must use all the wall space from the floor to the ceiling well to place home essentials and other necessary commodities in an organized manner. You can create floor-to-ceiling shelves for books, antiques, masterpieces, etc. It not only lets you develop your library, but it furnishes your tiny home with a different yet unique aesthetic.
To Wrap Up
The key to making your tiny house feel like a home is by implementing clever tiny house interior design principles and the best tiny home designs as well. By following the above-written interior ideas, you can make storage space more functional living space. You need not give up large rugs and statement pieces in tiny homes as well. Want to learn more about tiny houses? You've come to the right place! Experience Tiny Homes offers affordable tiny homes and can even advise you on how to get your interiors done to make the most of the area.
Tiny houses are getting more expensive, and owners are struggling to afford them.
Frank Olito, March 26, 2021
In 2016, Carley Jackson was living in Louisiana when a natural disaster flooded half the state. With her apartment destroyed, she was forced to move into a hotel for a month.
At that moment, Jackson decided to fast-track her dream of living in a tiny house, something she had been fantasizing about for a decade. She moved to Austin — a more tiny-house-friendly city — in 2019, and while there, she saved as much money as she could for her future home.
But, in 2021, Jackson learned her tiny-house dreams may not become a reality.
Based on past tiny-house costs she'd found in her research, Jackson saved $50,000 and thought she had enough to finally start building her home. She worked with a consultant to design a basic 26-foot tiny house with a downstairs bedroom, lots of storage, and a dishwasher for herself, her boyfriend, and their dog.
When they began pricing builders, Jackson was surprised to learn their tiny house would actually cost $70,000 to $80,000. Jackson was about $30,000 short.
"It was shocking," Jackson said. "You plan something and you have a dream in your head, and then it all falls apart. It's extremely frustrating."
Jackson isn't alone. Potential tiny-house owners across the country are frustrated with the growing cost of tiny houses and are being forced to give up their dreams of joining the movement.
The prices of tiny houses today are vastly different than they were a decade ago
When the modern tiny-house movement started in the early 2000s, it was advertised as an affordable way to own a home. Shows like "Tiny House Nation," which premiered in 2014, perpetuated the idea that people could buy a tiny house for cheap, but as the movement took off, those cheaper homes became less of a reality.
"In the very beginning, I don't think anyone knew exactly how much the homes we were building on 'Tiny House Nation' cost," Zack Giffin, host of the series, told Insider. "The homeowners would have a set budget and we would deliver a home regardless. The product integrations and the labor from myself and my crew were never even calculated."
The median cost of a tiny house today is around $60,000, and the price keeps climbing as the demand for these smaller structures increases and builders push the boundaries of what a tiny house can look like.
David Latimer of New Frontier Design, for example, created the Escher, a family-friendly tiny house that starts at $180,000. It includes a chef's kitchen, two bedrooms, a modern bathroom, and a walk-in closet. Although the Escher house is far from where the movement started, some say this is where the movement is heading.
However, the price for tiny houses without high-end amenities — like Jackson's proposed design — is also increasing across the board.
Lindsay Wood, who runs a tiny-house consulting business and who worked with Jackson in designing her house, said she has seen prices increase drastically even in the past year. Wood said one to two years ago, you only needed $50,000 to purchase a common 8-by-24-foot tiny house. In 2021, you need $65,000 to $75,000.
Prices of materials have also gone up significantly thanks to the pandemic
When the coronavirus pandemic began, it sparked an increased interest in tiny houses, as new demographics looked for safe ways to travel and to take their work on the road.
As the demand went up, builders and material suppliers struggled to meet it because they were already trying to contend with new COVID safety measures to keep their employees safe.
"It's more difficult for every business," said Nick Mosley, whose company, California Tiny House, built 30 houses last year. "Lumber mills aren't able to staff as much as they normally would and it may be slowing production."
CNBC found a 112% increase in lumber prices during the pandemic as remodeling became a popular quarantine activity in 2020. Similarly, Mosley said he used to buy beams for $2.50 each, and now they're $7.50 each.
"It doesn't sound like a lot of money, but when you're buying 500 to a thousand two by fours, a $5 increase is drastic," Mosley said. "And then that carries in through each house we build."
Mosley added that at the end of 2020, his supplier of trailers — the foundation for every tiny house on wheels — announced their costs will increase 5% in 2021 because their supplier hit them with a steel price increase. It's a chain reaction that ultimately affects the tiny house owner.
"Materials costs nationwide are increasing and that's driving up costs on a lot of tiny-house builders," Mosley said, adding: "The only way not to lose all the money we are paying out to meet material increases is to increase our prices, too."
Wood is even seeing issues with people who have larger budgets. One of her clients has a $120,000 budget, and Wood said that "would have been no problem a year ago." Now, that dream tiny house is costing $150,000 or more.
Sherry Lynn Louk of Oklahoma said she had to change her plans completely when she realized she couldn't afford a tiny house after retiring in 2020. "The prices for tiny homes when I first started looking [seven years ago] were fairly reasonable, but they have skyrocketed the last few years," Louk said.
Instead, she decided to buy a motor home for a fraction of the price, putting off her dream of living in a tiny house.
"Because the industry took off so quickly, I feel like it became this fad and now the prices have just skyrocketed, and it's making it impossible for people who are wanting to just simply live in a tiny house," Jackson said. "It's very frustrating when [the prices are] making it hard for people who are just wanting to live their dream."
As prices continue to rise and tiny-house owners struggle to pay, new trends might emerge. Since Jackson cannot afford the house of her dreams, she has the option to build the tiny house on her own — just like most people were doing at the start of the movement. Wood said she can see more people choosing this path in the future because they can control the price and bring the cost of labor down to zero.
"That's the only way I can see it happening for people who don't have the budget," Wood said. "They may only have $15,000 to $20,000, so they are going to have to DIY it."
Giffin says this price increase is actually great for the future of the movement
In most parts of the US, tiny houses are still considered RVs and people cannot live in them full-time. The Tiny Home Industry Association is working to pass zoning ordinances and building codes across the country to allow for the legalization of tiny houses.
It's a difficult process but, interestingly, Giffin said he thinks the rising costs of tiny houses could help push this initiative forward.
"Even though there's not a uniform building code of tiny homes, the cities are making up their own requirements, and essentially, they're requiring quality materials. They're requiring fire egress. They're requiring handrails," Giffin said. "In order to be allowed into communities, we need to be building nice tiny homes."
Not only could the expensive price tags help in the legalization process, but Giffin said they could also lead to better financing options for potential tiny-house owners. In the eyes of most large banks right now, tiny houses are not considered homes, so potential owners cannot get a mortgage. If tiny houses are built with better materials and with more quality control, Giffin said he hopes banks will start to recognize them as actual homes.
"If you could get a mortgage on a tiny home and deal with those same kinds of interest rates, you wouldn't be [saying], 'Oh, my God, it's $100,000.' You'd be like, 'Whoa, I got this thing for $500 a month,'" Giffin said.
Still, tiny-house owners are struggling to meet this new price tag
Wood said a lot of her clients are like Jackson, who is surprised to see how expensive a tiny house can be these days.
"Sadly most of my clients are way off on the reality of the budget," Wood said. "Way off. I had someone call me and say they had $25,000. For that, you're talking a very tiny space with rental appliances."
For the people who don't have the time, experience, or land to build on their own and don't have the budget, Wood said they will have to turn to model tiny homes. These homes usually can't be customized and are factory-made.
"The cool thing is that builders want to build models for efficiency," Wood said. In the future, fully customizable tiny homes might not be the norm anymore and instead might only be an option for people with higher budgets.
For now, Jackson isn't going to build it on her own or opt for a model home. Instead, she is weighing her options and will most likely wait a few more years to save more money. "I won't stop wishing for what I want," Jackson said. "I mean, I know it will eventually happen for me. It just might take me a little bit longer."
- Written by reporter Frank Olito, Business Insider
Thank you Ethan Waldman with #tinyhouselifestylepodcast for your ongoing work to improve the Tiny Home Industry.
Duluth, MN + A Love story
When I was 24 years old, I was living in the North Beach neighborhood “little Italy” of San Francisco.
I paid $300 a month to live in the dining room of a San Francisco apartment. We each had our own door to get into our rooms only my room had the fireplace which was never used.
We lived on one of those alley ways in North Beach and it was quite a Rapunzel experience where the eligible men would be calling on the three ladies that lived there from street below. We lived only half a block from the neighborhood bar which every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night echoed music and sounds of lively young people enjoying a good night out on the town.
One day as I was walking through the streets of North Beach, I went into a café and met a strikingly handsome young man who within a matter of weeks became my boyfriend.
This was my second love and it had been a decade since my last one. Imagine… your second love, you’re in your early 20s and you’re in one of the most romantic cities on the planet… LIFE WAS EASY AND GOOD.
About seven months later my boyfriend tells me that the city life, while fun, was just too much and he’s moving back to Duluth, Minnesota to be with his family. He was a financial advisor and his family had a thriving financial practice back in Duluth. Instead of being a small fish in a big sea he chose to be a big fish in a small pond.
So what does a girl who’s in her early 20s do when the second love of her life tells her he’s leaving? She says… “I’m going with you”
At this point, I had lived with one of my dearest friends for my senior year in college at Chico State and had lived with her for my first year single year in San Francisco so it was one of those tough moments breaking up the girlfriend vibe.
”I’m in love, I told her”, And she just looked at me and said, “go for it I love you”, with a slightly doubtful look on her face, but a knowing that I simply had to figure this one out on my own.
Off I went to Duluth Minnesota with 20 of my personal belongings in tow. Upon arriving I meet his other brother and sisters (he had a large family) and we toured their summer family cabin which was set on one of the thousands of lakes home to beautiful Minnesota. It was late spring early summer and the thought of the Minnesota winter was far from the mind.
Unfortunately, something was a bit off with us and the move for me was not what I expected. Finding a job seemed like a huge task and I wasn’t getting very far. After several nightly fights I said to him “I’m living my life through you”.
One thing about me is when a relationship ended, it ended there was no prolonging of our relationship or getting back together Bouncy house that I have witnessed other friends endure. It’s just not in my make up to be in limbo, when you know you know, and my motto for love was , “NEXT”.
So I hop back on a flight to San Francisco only two weeks after I had arrived in Duluth Minnesota. While it was short in time, it was a massive transformational move for me and my stepping into adulthood.
Coming back to San Francisco, my girlfriend had already found another roommate and had moved on with her life. I found myself putting back the pieces of my life, making new friends, looking for new places to live and figuring out my next career move.
I share the story because when my dear friend Keri G with @Ifwisheswerehorses school bus sent me this text announcing...
“The Duluth Economic Development Authority has unanimously approved the transfer of five vacant land sites around the city to developers. They plan to construct tiny homes and townhomes on the sites.”
Wow if only I had just stuck it out in Duluth I could be that tiny home developer!
Lol, I am grateful for the path that I was on and that got me to Duluth for those two weeks in the summer of 1994.
Kudos to Duluth Minnesota for stepping up and seeing how Tiny Homes play a huge role in creating “real” affordable housing.
Note: I say “real” because here in the state of California affordable housing actually costs cities and counties $480,000 a door.
Be very clear our traditional way of affordable housing involves taxpayer dollars to create it. Alternatively, with tiny homes, NO tax payer dollars are needed, the homeowner does not incur additional property taxes and we get to house people in a new affordable Tiny Home in a matter of months versus waiting for years.
To read more about the Duluth economic development authority tiny home plans click on the link below.
Hi it's Eric and Lindsay Wood creators of this Tiny Home Blog